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Showing posts with the label roots

Durrës - The sea is calling

Roots, Adi Dule The call of the sea rises above the din of the big city. You can’t ignore it especially when it is only 36 km away from Tirana. Durrës borders the Adriatic coast and it’s the natural choice for an afternoon spent outdoors against the backdrop of sea, sun and blue skies. Don’t forget your suntan lotion and lunettes de soleil, bien sur.  By the way, Durrës is pronounced du rosh . There are a few sculptures along the seaside promenade that stand out against the stunning coastline. One of these is Roots (above) by a local artist.  Roman Amphitheater But there’s more to Durrës than suntanning at the beach or sipping a nice cold drink at a café. There is the Roman Amphitheater from the 2nd Century AD which was only discovered in 1966. It could seat 15,000 or so spectators in its heyday.   Venetian Tower and the statue of Redon, God of the Sea The Venetian Tower, which has been restored, was part of a fortified castle from the 5th century and rebuilt in the 13th century after

Ta Prohm

Of the many amazing temples I saw in Siem Reap, Ta Prohm is definitely my favorite. It seems on the verge of collapse under the weight of the roots of towering trees. The scent of decay is pronounced and more so after a tropical downpour. While seeking refuge inside one of the temple structures, we were enveloped by an oppressive and dank air which no amount of incense could erode. But this is to be expected of an enclosed space that is being choked by its surroundings. There's so much drama in this jungle which is why I like it the most. Piles of stones are everywhere. Moss and lichen cover the walls and roots the size of an elephant wrap over and around the structures. Built in 1186 as a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII (the greatest ruler/builder of the Khmer empire), it was abandoned until the 16th century when Portuguese explorers visited the Angkor complex.   The jungle has been tamed but there are many traces of its past existence. In these grou